Current Smokers at Breast Cancer Diagnosis Face Higher Death Risk

Associations strongest for all-cause mortality in Black women with greater pack-years of smoking

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WEDNESDAY Feb. 1, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Current smoking at the time of diagnosis is associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality among Black women diagnosed with breast cancer, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in JAMA Network Open.

Nur Zeinomar, Ph.D., from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, and colleagues examined the association of prediagnostic cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption with all-cause mortality and breast cancer-specific mortality. The analysis included 1,926 Black breast cancer survivors identified from the New Jersey State Cancer Registry.

The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 6.7 years, current smokers at the time of breast cancer diagnosis had a significantly increased risk for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 1.52; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.15 to 2.02), which was most pronounced for those with 10 or more pack-years of smoking (HR, 1.84; 95 percent, 1.34 to 2.53), compared with never smokers. Findings trended similarly for breast cancer-specific mortality, although they were not significant (current smokers versus never smokers: HR, 1.27; 95 percent CI, 0.87 to 1.85). Neither the association of alcohol consumption with all-cause mortality (three or more drinks per week versus nondrinkers: HR, 1.05; 95 percent CI, 0.73 to 1.51) nor with breast cancer-specific mortality (three or more drinks per week versus nondrinkers: HR, 1.06; 95 percent CI, 0.67 to 1.67) was significant.

"Our findings add to the evidence of the detrimental health effects of smoking and underscore the need of tailored and targeted survivorship care for breast cancer survivors, particularly women with heavier levels of smoking," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.

Abstract/Full Text

Lori Solomon

Lori Solomon

Medically reviewed by Mark Arredondo, M.D.

Published on February 01, 2023

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